Reviewed: “Turning Secrets” by Brenda Chapman

Is it every a good idea to jump into a series at book six? Probably not. Turning Secrets by Brenda Chapman may be the exception to this rule. I requested the chance to read the book based on the summary on NetGalley but I don’t think I realized at the time that it was book six in a series. Would I have requested it had I known? Probably not. And that would have been the loss of a fantastic book I didn’t know I never read.

This book is fantastic. Even coming in six books in to the world of Kala Stonechild, it is fantastic. It can easily be read as a standalone, because Chapman has included enough explanation of what shaped Kala and her fellow police officers and her niece that nothing was confusing.

I thought I had the story figured out. Some of the clues seemed like predictable plot points in a mystery. I was prepared to be disappointed. 

I did not have the story figured out. The seemingly predictable plot points were red herrings meant to throw the reader off. And I was not disappointed.

Reviewing mysteries is always had because I don’t want to give up spoilers that might make someone wonder why they should read this good book when they already know X. So what I’ll say is this…

– The plot (missing teenagers, crooked politicians, a dead girl with a sketchy background, a lead cop with a history) is excellent
– The setting (Kingston and Toronto in Ontario) is vivid and detailed and very easy to imagine even if you’ve never been any of those places
– Kala Stonechild, her niece Dawn, Dawn’s father… they are all indigenous people and, from my very limited knowledge of indigenous stories, the representation is really good
– The plot twist and the surprise ending were perfectly executed… I thought I knew, I did not

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to track down the earlier books in this series!

(I received a copy of Turning Secrets through NetGalley and Dundurn in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)

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